Exposé Online banner

Tortoise — It's All around You
(Thrill Jockey Thrill 115, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

It's All around You Cover artAs much as the somewhat vague moniker “post-rock” gets tossed around, there is probably little disagreement that Tortoise is one of the genre’s most important practitioners. Certainly the advent of “rock” (in all its forms) was one of the most significant developments in music during the 20th Century, and post-rock is the answer to the question, “Now that we’ve heard rock, what’s next?” Tortoise manage to utilize some of the techniques and qualities of rock without ever really being rock, unless you’re old-fashioned enough to believe that if it has electric guitar and a drum kit, it must be rock. For this latest release, the band provide an incremental refinement of their sound rather than anything ground-breaking, but the impression is still one of freshness and exploration. Even in the midst of squiggly masses of guitar feedback, the sense of control and deliberate arrangement arches over the sound – a place for every sound and every sound in its place. Frequent use of mallet instruments can often lead to a wimpy smooth-jazz sound, but in these hands (and with the aid of various manipulations to the sound) the vibes and marimba provide an other-worldly air. Moods range from fairly calm to energetic and almost rocking, and electronic sources mix with acoustic and electric seamlessly. Movie soundtracks from the psychedelic era and Cluster-style Krautrock are passing influences, starting points for what is really a self-defined genre or one. All in all, a lot of fun both for Tortoise fans and newcomers.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Tortoise

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Michel Sajrawy - Yathrib – The nine tracks presented on Yathrib not only attempt to bridge Arabic traditional composition forms, western jazz idioms and progressive rock, they also bridge the cultural differences (Christian,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues